Ray's the Dead is more than an action zombie puzzler – it's a feat of electrical engineering. As a twice-removed successor to Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel without a Pulse, Ray's the Dead offers 1980s undead-centric gameplay inspired by Pikmin and, most adorably, a main character with a glowing lightbulb on top of his head. Yes, his name is Ray.
Ragtag Studio – composed of former Wideload, Disney and Ensemble Studios developers, including one who worked on Stubbs the Zombie – needs $75,000 from Kickstarter backers to add audio effects, music and quality writing to the game. They want to hire out these positions to Jake Kaufman (Double Dragon, Shovel Knight, DuckTales soundtracks), Ben Crossbones (Tony Hawk Pro Skater, Organ Trail sound design), Matt and Ed (Twisted Pixel writers) and a larger curated team.
Ragtag can finish the game without the Kickstarter funds, but that would result in a pared-down version of Ray's the Dead, Ragtag co-founder Chris Cobb tells Joystiq.
"With many Kickstarters, they promise additional features that can potentially lengthen the development cycle of the game," Cobb says. "With ours, we have specifically tailored the Kickstarter campaign to help us add features that do not affect the development cycle in a negative way, and in many ways will make it more likely that we can make our target release date. We planned out the scope of the game itself a while ago, and didn't feel it would be wise to add or remove gameplay features, levels, characters, etc., based on the failure or success of our campaign.
"We haven't had any funding, but we can continue working on the game for a good long while as we are all being supported by our wives right now. Without funding, anything we can do ourselves will be done, but things outside of our skill set will have to fall to the wayside. And none of us are musicians or writers."